Showing posts with label former Gov. Linda Lingle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label former Gov. Linda Lingle. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Honolulu first big city to ban pedestrian cellphone use, Huckabee rallies GOP, state fixes FEMA flood problems, Honolulu seeks tighter liquor laws, police chief interviews continue, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Cellphones in Waikiki © 2017 All Hawaii News
Crossing the street? Whatever you do, don't look at your phone. Starting Wednesday, pedestrians could be fined for crossing a street on Oahu while looking at a cell phone or other electronic device. City officials say Honolulu is the first major city in the nation to enact this type of ban. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu makes looking at electronic devices while crossing streets, highways illegal. A new city ordinance makes it illegal for pedestrians to look at electronic devices while crossing the street. The law goes into effect on Wednesday. KHON2.

Former presidential candidate rallies to revive Republican spirit in Hawaii. Speaking to a crowd of about 500 guests at the Koolau Ballrooms Tuesday night, former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee hoped to reignite the spirit of Hawaii's Republican Party. Hawaii News Now.

FEMA says Hawaii no longer at risk of suspension from National Flood Insurance Program. In April 2016, FEMA warned the state that Hawaii Senate Bill 586, which exempted buildings on agriculture lands from county zoning laws, prevented Hawaiian counties from being fully compliant with the agency’s NFIP requirements. Pacific Business News.

Honolulu City Councilmembers are expected to request the state legislature pass measures to toughen liquor laws next session. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiian Electric Cos. have taken the next step toward achieving Hawaii's clean energy goal by submitting paperwork with state regulators for the process of soliciting new renewable energy proposals. Pacific Business News.


The state plans to reopen Kewalo Basin Park, the two Gateway Parks and the Point Panic area of Kakaako Waterfront Park on Monday, three weeks after clearing the parks of large homeless encampments. Star-Advertiser.

Two Kakaako parks could reopen next week, more work needed at Waterfront. KHON2.

Honolulu Council Committee Shoots Down Islandwide Sit-Lie Ban. The panel tinkered with homelessness proposals, shifting from the concept of safe zones to tiny homes. Civil Beat.

How Domestic Violence Can Lead To Homelessness. The link is clear but the connection is often overlooked by policymakers trying to end homelessness. Civil Beat.

Honolulu police suspect teenage assailants were behind three recent high-profile violent crimes in Waikiki, where hundreds of teens live on the streets. Star-Advertiser.

Officer, ex-prosecutor expect more arrests in Kealoha case. The officer who last month publicly alleged widespread corruption within the Honolulu Police Department said Tuesday that he and his colleagues are thrilled that federal authorities have charged several current and former officers with criminal wrongdoing and are pursuing more leads in an investigation that has rocked Hawaii’s law enforcement community. Star-Advertiser.

Covert Honolulu Police Unit Has Long History Of Troubles. The CIU is again under scrutiny, with five officers recently arrested as part of a federal investigation into police corruption. Civil Beat.

Attorney: 3 Honolulu police commissioners should step down. An attorney who helped convinced federal authorities to investigate former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha is calling for a major overhaul at the Honolulu Police Commission. Associated Press.

High Court Rejects Media Complaint About Police Commission Secrecy. The legal challenge was made to ensure that the public has access to hearings for Honolulu cops who want taxpayer help. Civil Beat.

Three police chief finalists appear before commission on second day of interviews. Interviews continued Tuesday with three more candidates vying to lead the state’s largest police department. KHON2.

Hunt for the next police chief continues as finalists endure interview round. Three more finalists vying for the position of Honolulu's next police chief were grilled by the Honolulu Police Commission Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Chief of Police interviews now in progress; will continue through Wednesday. KITV.

Four proposals aimed at resolving issues tied to bed-and-breakfast establishments and other transient vacation rentals go before the Honolulu City Council’s Zoning and Housing Committee on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

New city proposals to legalize certain vacation rentals, and crackdown on scofflaws. KITV.

Honolulu's small business owners not happy with local government, survey says. Honolulu earned an F in the following three categories: employment, labor and hiring regulations; licensing regulations; and tax regulations. Pacific Business News.

Hanauma Bay supporters mark 50 years of protection. Today nearly 1 million people a year are drawn to the spectacular East Oahu bay, a coastal volcanic crater that has become the island’s premier snorkeling destination. Star-Advertiser.

Lawsuit alleges negligence in 2016 death of HFD firefighter. The son of a Honolulu firefighter who died after a training accident in 2016 has filed a lawsuit against the city. Hawaii News Now.

Marco Polo building open for possible plaintiffs, defendants. The Marco Polo condo building in which a July fire killed four people has been opened to numerous people who might file lawsuits, potential defendants such as product manufacturers and their insurers, and fire experts from across the nation. Associated Press

Chinatown building’s renovation helps preserve affordable rentals. An extreme home makeover that included removing a gambling den at a low-income apartment complex on city land in Honolulu is being celebrated today as part of a $13 million project to preserve affordable housing. Star-Advertiser.

First homeowners begin moving into Kakaako tower. Keauhou Place, a 423-unit condominium tower, opened its doors to an initial batch of 57 homeowners who were scheduled to pick up their keys Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu police are investigating the death of a 2-year-old girl who allegedly had boiling water poured on her in August while staying on base with her Scho­field Barracks father, relatives of the girl and officials said. Star-Advertiser

Honolulu construction company gets $10M task order for work at Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

State eyes $42K fine for reef damage. The state Land Board will consider fining a boat tour operator $42,165 for damage done to the historic Punaluu Wharf. Tribune-Herald.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands met with the community in Honomū Gym on Monday evening, to talk about a plan to create a the first-of-its-kind, Subsistence Agriculture Homestead Lease on 766 acres of land above town. Big Island Video News.

The Hawaii County Board of Ethics dismissed two more complaints filed by North Kohala resident Lanric Hyland during a meeting in Hilo on Monday, finding them to be frivolous and prompting further discussion on the board’s rules of procedure for handling such complaints. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii island Circuit Court Judge Greg Nakamura formally declared Peter “Peter Boy” Kema Jr. to be dead today in a decision that clears the way for a lawsuit by Kema’s siblings in one of Hawaii’s most infamous child abuse cases. Star-Advertiser.

Jaylin Kema, the mother of Peter Kema Jr., also known as “Peter Boy,” was re-sentenced Tuesday to 10 years of probation after she violated her probation on a manslaughter charge earlier this year. Tribune-Herald.

U.S. Coast Guard crews are monitoring a local company’s floating island that appeared to be listing Tuesday in Kailua Bay following foul weather that lashed the Big Island. West Hawaii Today.


Tsutsui move opens up mayoral race. Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui’s announcement that he is not running for Maui County mayor in 2018 brought reactions of surprise, relief and understanding from those who have announced their intentions to seek the county’s top office. Maui News.

Public hearings on proposed amendments to the State Commission on Water Resource Management administrative rules pertaining to water use, wells, and stream diversion works will be held island-wide with the first meeting taking place in Wailuku on Oct. 30. Maui Now.

Thousands of lightning strikes and 60 mph wind gusts downed power lines and zapped Maui Electric Co. systems early Tuesday morning causing a countywide power outage that shut down businesses, flooded homes and caused traffic jams and flight delays and cancellations. Maui News.

Teen starts petition to save Barnes & Noble. West Maui bookstore to close at the end of the year. Maui News.

Meeting on Kanaio site inspection set for Nov. 1. Maui News.


Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. is announcing his candidacy for higher office today on Oahu, according to a press release from the 2018 Carvalho campaign. While Carvalho is expected to throw his hat into the running for Hawaii governor, some speculate he might run for lieutenant governor. Garden Island.

A mediated settlement, approved by the Hawaii Commission on Water Resource Management in April, to immediately restore continuous flows in West Kauai’s Waimea River, is the subject of a video mini-documentary produced by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Garden Island.

Help wanted to rid Kilauea River of invasives. Salvinia hails from Brazil and is the most invasive species in Hawaii. Garden Island.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sewage spills close famed Waikiki beaches, hit two other islands, Ige nixes liquefied natural gas, Public Utilities Commission sets hearings on Hawaiian Electric sale, Maui mulls parking meters, Catholic cardinal gets Kona DUI, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki Beach © 2015 All Hawaii News
Waikiki Beach and much of Oahu’s South Shore were placed off-limits Monday after more than 500,000 gallons of sewage, mixed with stormwater, spewed into the ocean from heavy rainfall. Star-Advertiser.

Miles of beaches are still closed Monday night after about half a million gallons of raw sewage overflowed on Atkinson Drive and then poured into the Waikiki side of Magic Island. Hawaii News Now.

Heavy rain caused numerous wastewater discharges across Oahu on Monday, from Kaneohe to Waikiki, where state officials closed Waikiki beaches on Monday due to a 500,000 gallon sewage spill near Ala Moana Center. Pacific Business News.

A massive sewage spill has shut down miles of beaches along Waikīkī and Ala Moana. Flooding from heavy rains caused more than 500,000 gallons of sewage to overflow from manholes near Ala Moana Center. Hawaii Public Radio.

Heavy rains triggered a half-million gallon sewage spill in Honolulu, prompting city officials Monday to close most of the beach fronting Waikiki. Associated Press.

An estimated half a million gallons of sewage water has spilled from a 69-foot pipe that's currently backed up. EMS warns beachgoers to stay out of the water until further notice. KITV4.

The area between Point Panic at Kakaako Waterfront Park to Kapahulu Groin in Waikiki is closed because of Monday’s sewage spill along Ala Moana Boulevard that was estimated to be 500,000 gallons. KHON2.

Gov. David Ige blew a hole in the plans of Hawaii utilities to burn liquefied natural gas to generate electricity, saying it would only delay the state’s eventual switch to renewable energy. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Monday that the state does not need liquefied natural gas as part of its energy future and says Hawaii should focus on developing renewable energy rather than importing LNG. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian Electric Co. is not backing down from its commitment to ship liquefied natural gas to Hawaii, following Gov. David Ige’s new stance made known on Monday that he is in opposition to LNG being imported to the state as a replacement for oil. Pacific Business News.

The Public Utilities Commission will be conducting public listening sessions next month on the proposed merger of Hawai’i’s major electricity provider. Hawaii Public Radio.

Inmate Work Furlough Program: Statistical Success or a Public Danger? Prison reform advocates and tough-on-crime proponents glean different conclusions from the same numbers concerning well-publicized prisoners who walk away — and the few who commit new crimes. Civil Beat.

Linda Lingle says she’s not giving political advice to her new boss Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, even though he considers her a “superstar.” The former Hawaii governor, who spent eight years at the helm of the Aloha State, is now earning $198,000 as Rauner’s chief operating officer. But in a recent interview she insists she’s only helping with the day-to-day operations of the state. Civil Beat.


State Rep. Marcus Oshiro contends the number of homeless people in Wahiawa is woefully underreported, so he’s bringing together government officials, landowners, businesses and social service providers Tuesday night to get a clearer picture of what’s really going on. Star-Advertiser.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a major landowner around the Kakaako homeless encampment, is in talks with state and city officials about using one or two of its Kakaako properties to create short-term housing that could potentially accommodate all of the estimated 300 homeless occupants. Star-Advertiser.

While the Honolulu Police Department has not implemented a body camera program, some officers are using their own personal devices while in the field. Associated Press.

A printing problem is plaguing the state’s largest daily newspaper and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser doesn’t know when it will be fixed. KHON2.


Pepeekeo’s Hu Honua Bioenergy Facility once again has taken the top spot on the Hawaii State Energy Office’s list of renewable energy projects. The list ranks 45 of the state’s top clean energy leaders and is updated twice a year. Hu Honua first took the top spot in January. Tribune-Herald.

A decade after Hawaii County created a new sign ordinance and then backed off enforcing it, questions are arising in Kailua-Kona about what are and are not legal signs. West Hawaii Today.

School started for Hawaii Community College students at their new Palamanui campus on Monday morning. West Hawaii Today.

One of the high-ranking American officials of the Roman Catholic Church was arrested for drunken driving late last week in Kailua-Kona. The Most Eminent Cardinal William Joseph Levada, 79, of Menlo Park, Calif., was stopped at about midnight Thursday on Hina Lani Street and charged with DUI, according to the police arrest log. Tribune-Herald.

Approximately 70,000 gallons of partially treated wastewater was released into waters near the Kulaimano Wastewater Treatment Plant in Pepeekeo between Sunday evening and Monday morning. Star-Advertiser.


On Friday, Aug. 28. the Maui Redevelopment Agency will take up a number of issues, all of which are parking-related. The agenda shows that the big new item involves the potential “use of Capital Improvement funds for the construction of additional parking at the Wailuku Municipal Parking lot” but “old business” includes items like the “Parking Pricing RFP” and discussion on “Revisions to Parking ordinance” that will likely involve parking meters. MauiTime.

Maui County students and teachers are feeling the heat this school year with temperatures reaching 90 degrees nearly every day this month and causing principals to look for relief from state legislators and the Department of Education. Maui News.


A sewage spill happened at the Princeville Wastewater Treatment Plant sometime between Sunday and Monday, according to Marshall Lum, a supervisor of the state Department of Health’s Wastewater Branch. Garden Island.

Apollo Kauai, a grassroots organization that promotes the use of alternative energy, is hosting a discussion on climate change called “He moku he wa’a,” which means “an island is a canoe.” Garden Island.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Ron Kouchi voted Senate president, Honolulu rail tax bill goes to governor, Szigeti named tourism chief, Hawaii to be first with 100% renewable energy, Kenoi to add 30 positions in new budget, jury sides with Maui County in takings case, humpback whale plan draws Kauai's ire, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Senate President Ron Kouchi
Hawaii Senate President Donna Mercado Kim passed the gavel to Ron Kouchi on Tuesday after a “bloodless coup” that changed leadership just two days before the 2015 session is set to end. The 16-9 vote followed a two-hour floor session in which the Senate gave final approval to dozens of bills. Sens. Les Ihara, Gil Riviere, Russell Ruderman, Sam Slom, Laura Thielen and Kim voted against the resolution that makes Kouchi president and keeps Will Espero as vice president. Civil Beat.

The State Senate ousted its president today and the new leadership vowed to set a course for a stronger legislative body. Hawaii Public Radio.

Donna Mercado Kim

Sen. Donna Mercado Kim says she never wanted to be Senate president because she knew that someday someone would seek to unseat her. That day arrived Tuesday as state Sen. Ron Kouchi was voted in by his colleagues as the new Senate president, marking the first time since 1994 that a sitting president was replaced in midsession. The Senate voted 19-6 to oust Kim and elevate Kouchi. Star-Advertiser.

There is a new State Senate president after a move to oust State Senator Donna Mercado Kim. The abrupt change in leadership came after a 19 to 6 vote in favor of State Senator Ron Kouchi of Kauai. Hawaii News Now.

The Legislature approved more than 100 bills Tuesday, including a $26 billion budget, legislation that requires Hawaii to reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2045 and a bill criminalizing sex trafficking. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Legislature on Tuesday gave final approval for a $2 million general fund appropriation to the Hawaii Health Connector, only 20 percent of the $10 million that had been initially requested. Pacific Business News.

A bill that would make Hawaii the first state in the nation with a 100 percent-renewable-energy standard cleared the Legislature on Tuesday and is headed to the governor. House Bill 623 would set 2045 as the year Hawaii should reach a goal of producing 100 percent of its electric power from renewable energy sources. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii moved a huge step closer to becoming the first state in the nation to adopt a 100 percent renewable energy portfolio standard, with a bill passed by the state Legislature on Tuesday that’s now headed to the governor’s desk for his signature. Pacific Business News.

A bill passed by the State Legislature today, May 5, makes Hawaii the first state in the nation to adopt a 100 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard, which means Hawaii utilities will generate 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2045. Hawaii Independent.

Opinion: The State Ethics Commission introduced a package of nine bills with House and Senate versions. Not a single one was passed. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Legislature has passed a bill that could make it a lot easier for transgender people to change their gender on their birth certificates. KITV4.

Hawaii's visitor industry reacted positively to the news that hotel industry leader George Szigeti had been tapped to lead the Hawaii Tourism Authority, which markets the state as a travel destination. Star-Advertiser.

The state Board of Education is approving the appointment of Stephen Schatz to be the Department of Education's new deputy superintendent. Hawaii News Now.

Last week, protestors of another planned U.S. military base in Okinawa rallied outside the Japanese embassy in a show of solidarity with Hawaiians and other occupied indigenous peoples around the world. Hawaii Independent.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's chief operating officer will make an annual salary of $198,000, more than she made running the state of Hawaii. The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises reports Linda Lingle will start drawing the pay after her current $60,000 contract with the state ends in June. Associated Press.


The state Legislature has approved a five-year extension of Oahu's rail tax surcharge, sending to Gov. David Ige a bill that aims to help pull the largest public works project in the state's history out of a huge cash crisis. With the Senate's 21-4 vote and the House's 39-12 vote Tuesday, lawmakers ended their months­long debate on rail by concluding that the train has already left the station. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council is expected to take a final vote on a proposed 11,750-unit Ho‘opili housing project Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The City Council on Wednesday is expected to give final approval to Bill 6, which includes the two sides of Kapalama Canal and other areas under restrictions of the sit-lie ordinance. Specifically, the expansion would also include both sides of the street of all existing sit-lie boundaries, as well portions of McCully and the Aala-Kukui area mauka of North Beretania Street. Star-Advertiser.

Two former directors of the Waikiki Aquarium told Hawaii News Now it suffers from dysfunctional management that has led to rapid turnover in key positions and may have resulted in some of its animals dying recently, a charge the current man in charge denied.

For the next year and a half, first-time juvenile offenders busted for minor law violations in Honolulu’s 5th Patrol District — which includes the neighborhoods of Kalihi, Liliha, Nuuanu and Punchbowl — will be given the option of going to the Susannah Wesley Community Center instead of going to court. Civil Beat.


Buoyed by an improved economy, Mayor Billy Kenoi on Tuesday released an amended budget that bumps spending up a notch and adds 30 new positions without raising property taxes. The new proposed budget, at $438.8 million, is 5.25 percent higher than last year’s budget and about $4 million higher than a proposed budget released earlier this year. West Hawaii Today.

The Attorney General's office has issued about a dozen subpoenas directed at Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi's questionable spending, Hawaii News Now has learned.

Mayor Billy Kenoi, once considered a bright star in Hawaii politics, is turning out the lights of his campaign organization. Star-Advertiser.

Ka‘u rancher Kyle Soares spread his tax bills out before the County Council Finance Committee on Tuesday, driving home his contention that farmers and ranchers need more of a tax break, not less of one. At issue for Soares and several other testifiers was Bill 317, which would tighten up requirements to qualify for special tax breaks for agriculture. The bill, a product of a task force that met last summer, would do away with the so-called “nondedicated” agricultural exemption, and require commitment to a three-year period to qualify for reduced property values. West Hawaii Today.

After being hit hard by a pair of natural disasters — Hurricane Iselle in July, followed by the June 27 lava flow — Hawaii Island’s southern district of Puna became fuel for numerous legislative bills. Some of those measures passed, including Senate Bill 1211, which increases the expenditure ceiling on major disaster fund money from $2 million to $5 million. Other bills, including those that would have appropriated funds for the removal of downed albizia trees and to establish an emergency ambulance service in the Puna area, died. Tribune-Herald.

More than two years after the Hualalai deepwell broke down, the cost of the repair project has increased more than eight-fold, and there is still no water. West Hawaii Today.


A 2nd Circuit jury found in favor of Maui County on Tuesday in a lawsuit in which California venture capitalist Douglas Leone and his wife, Patricia, alleged that county officials effectively took their Palauea Beach property as a public park without paying just compensation. Maui News.

Panel sends $621 million budget to full council. Proposal includes reduced property tax rates and increased user fees. Maui News.

Major investigation into Maui County pCard abuse, misspending. KHON2’s Always Investigating has uncovered another major case of taxpayer money misspent on government credit cards, this time on Maui.

Maui County has set aside $30,000 to pay a consulting firm to study what utility model would be the best for the island. The Mayor's Office of Economic Development filed a request for proposals Tuesday seeking the costs and benefits associated with public power and energy cooperatives' forms of electric utility ownership. Star-Advertiser.

A new management plan for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary drew widespread anger in the testimony of captains, fishermen, surfers and local business owners, who made it clear they will do whatever it takes to fend off what they view as the increasing oversight of state waters by a federal government they don’t trust. Garden Island.

Friday, May 15 is the last day for residents to tell the Solid Waste office whether they want a 96- or 64-gallon refuse cart for trash collection. Garden Island.

About 10,000 gallons of treated waste water from the Wailua treatment plant overflowed from a manhole Tuesday morning and made its way to an area just outside the fence line of the plant at Lydgate Beach Park, Kauai County officials said in a news release. Star-Advertiser.

Treated and disinfected effluent from the Wailua wastewater treatment plant overflowed Tuesday morning from an onsite manhole and made its way to an area just outside the fence line of the plant at Lydgate Beach Park near the county’s park maintenance building. Garden Island.


Molokai residents called on Maui County Council members Tuesday to undertake "any and all efforts to sustain the ferry" system that has seen steep declines in ridership and revenue in the last six months. Maui News.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Ige declares time out for Thirty Meter Telescope, Nature Conservancy director named DLNR chair, Maui mayor proposes electricity takeover, Honolulu rail tax clears committee, lawmakers mull marijuana dispensaries, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy Occupy Hilo Media
Mauna Kea telescope protesters file photo courtesy Occupy Hilo Media
Protesters on Mauna Kea welcomed a weeklong moratorium on construction of the world's largest telescope Tuesday but said they aren't letting their guard down and will continue to keep vigil at the 9,200-foot level. Star-Advertiser.

Construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea is on hold for at least a week as protests over the $1.4 billion project continue to mount. Hawaii Gov. David Ige told reporters Tuesday that there will be a “timeout” to facilitate a dialogue. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday that the nonprofit corporation behind the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea agreed to his request for a weeklong halt of construction. The stand down came five days after law enforcement officials arrested 31 people who participated in an ongoing protest of the $1.4 billion project. Tribune Herald.

Hawai‘i Governor David Ige has announced a week-long "time out" for construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Governor Ige says he came to this decision after speaking with major stakeholders in the project. Hawaii Public Radio.

Governor David Ige announced at a press conference Tuesday that construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea will ‘pause' for a week. He's hoping the next seven days will ease tensions and increase dialogue between stakeholders over the construction of the thirty meter telescope. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday that construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop one of the most sacred sites for native Hawaiians would come to a halt, at least temporarily. Ige characterized the one-week pause in construction as a “timeout.” KITV4.

In a seemingly abrupt about-face after the first major controversy of his administration, Gov. David Ige nominated longtime conservationist Suzanne Case on Tuesday as the new chairwoman of the state Board of Land and Natural Resources — a selection that quickly won praise from members of the state's environmental community. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige has appointed Suzanne Case to head the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, ending weeks of speculation. The governor withdrew his previous nominee, Carleton Ching, three weeks ago amid mounting public opposition over his ties to developers and lack of experience for a job that requires leading a department comprised of 10 divisions and nearly 900 employees. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige on Tuesday nominated Suzanne Case, the longtime head of The Nature Conservancy in Hawaii, to lead the state Department of Land and Natural Resources after withdrawing his first nomination, Castle & Cooke Hawaii executive Carleton Ching, due to backlash from environmental groups. Pacific Business News.

Today Governor David Ige announced his new nomination to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources (subject to confirmation by the Senate), Suzanne Case, and the widespread opposition to Ige’s previous choice, developer-lobbyist Carleton Ching, is calling the choice a win for Hawaii. Hawaii Independent.

Governor David Ige on Tuesday announced his nomination to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources and his choices for the Board of Education. The appointments are subject to confirmation by the Senate. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday his nomination to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources and his choices for the Board of Education. KITV4.

Gov. David Ige on Tuesday appointed a banking executive and two former public-school educators to the state Board of Education. Ige named Lance Mizumoto, president and chief banking officer of Central Pacific Bank, to the board along with longtime Kauai educator Margaret Cox and former teacher Hubert Minn. Star-Advertiser.

Spending by special interest groups lobbying lawmakers during the first part of the current legislative session is running well below last year’s pace, according to reports filed last week with the Hawaii State Ethics Commission. The more than 200 interest groups with registered lobbyists reported spending a total of $832,808 during the period from Jan. 1 to Feb. 28. Civil Beat.

Student lunch prices will to go up by 25 cents in the fall to $2.75 for high-schoolers and to $2.50 for elementary and intermediate students, the first price increases since 2011. Breakfast prices will go up by 10 cents to $1.10 and $1.20 for elementary and secondary students, respectively. Department of Education officials cited increases in food and labor costs, which have pushed up meal expenses by more than 17 percent in the last five years. The move is expected to raise an additional $1.7 million a year for the food services branch. Star-Advertiser.

A state House bill attempting to create a regulated medical marijuana dispensary system throughout Hawaii will be reviewed by its final committees today. House Bill 321 establishes a system of medical marijuana dispensaries in the state and puts limits on the amount that can be purchased. The legislation also prohibits counties from enacting zoning regulations that prevent the use of land for licensed dispensaries. West Hawaii Today.

More than 4,000 charge cards under the pCard program are in the hands of government workers, ranging from secretaries to department heads and politicians. But the oversight of the pCards is left largely to individual agencies — something that the state auditor raised questions about when examining the program in 2010. Star-Advertiser.

Aiming to reduce the 55 million gallons of raw sewage that enters the ground daily — and makes its way into Hawaii’s drinking water — state lawmakers are pressing forward with a bill that would ease the financial pain of converting to modern waste disposal systems. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii legislators’ efforts to address the state’s affordable housing crisis may barely make a dent in the huge demand for homes. Civil Beat.

In June, former Governor Linda Lingle begins her new job as COO for Illinois. As for Hawaii politics, Lingle believes the Republican Party will eventually cut into Democratic dominance, the way it did when she was GOP chair and then governor. Hawaii News Now.

A new report says foreign students studying in Hawaii are contributing hundreds of millions to the state's economy. The report released Tuesday by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism says foreign students made a direct economic impact of more than $205 million during the current school year. Associated Press.


The Senate Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday voted to extend a 0.5 percent General Excise Tax surcharge for Honolulu’s rail project another five years beyond its Dec. 31, 2022 expiration. The vote on House Bill 134 indicates that lawmakers are supportive of helping the city complete it’s $6 billion driverless commuter rail project despite cost overruns and questions of lax oversight. Civil Beat.

Deputy Prosecutor Jon Riki Karamatsu announced his resignation on Tuesday following his second DUI arrest over the weekend. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro has accepted the resignation of Deputy Prosecutor Jon Riki Karamatsu. Civil Beat.


Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Tuesday announced upcoming flight plans for the remainder of April through May 7. West Hawaii Today.


Mayor Alan Arakawa wants to explore the possibilities of making Maui Electric Co. a public utility, one that could even compete against Florida-based Next-Era Energy Inc., which is seeking Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approval to acquire MECO's parent company, Hawaiian Electric Industries. Maui News.

Hawaiian Electric and NextEra held the first in a series of public meetings. Two meetings were held on Maui on Tuesday. Senior leaders and other employees from both NextEra and Hawaiian Electric were on hand to talk about how they plan to increase renewable energy and lower customer bills. NextEra says it wants input from the community. KHON2.

NextEra Energy Inc. and Hawaiian Electric Industries will host a series of open house meetings statewide to acquaint the public with NextEra and share details on the upcoming merger between the two energy companies. Maui Now.

The Makawao Fourth of July Parade plans to carry on, unchanged, with its longtime parade organizer vowing Tuesday night to "dig my heels in" against the state Department of Defense. Maui News.


A contractor has been hired to remove a sailboat that ran aground in a secluded area on a reef at Moloaa Bay April 1. Garden Island.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has hired a contractor to remove a 55-foot sailboat that ran aground off Kauai earlier this month. The department says it's expected to cost $185,000 to remove the Kikimo from the reef at Moloaa Bay. Associated Press.

Just how famous are Kauai’s chickens? Enough for the New York Times to write a lengthy report about them. Garden Island.


Maui County Council members took a first step Tuesday toward providing a government subsidy to keep the Molokai ferry afloat, but it remains to be seen whether it will be too little too late. Maui News.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Former Gov. Lingle takes job with Illinois governor, military in Hawaii: love it or lose it, marijuana decriminalization on legislative agenda, doc shortage worsens, broadband lagging, breathing life into Coco Palms, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Former Gov. Linda Lingle in 2012 campaign © 2015 All Hawaii News
n a move that could signal the end of her political career in Hawaii, former Gov. Linda Lingle on Thursday was tapped by the new Republican governor of Illinois to serve as a senior adviser working to help turn around that state's sinking finances. Star-Advertiser.

Former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle is headed for Illinois to serve as the chief operating officer for Gov. Bruce Rauner. Civil Beat.

Legislative leaders from the Hawaii House of Representatives say they plan to focus on fixing infrastructure, encouraging business and increasing participation in government in the new legislative session. Associated Press.

House Democrats held a news conference Thursday afternoon at the Capitol to announce the majority caucus legislative package but offered little in the way of details about any of the priorities they plan to focus on this session, which convened Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers in Hawaii are beginning to introduce a series of bills that aim to make marijuana more freely available in the state. A bill to decriminalize marijuana is currently being drafted, said Sen. Will Espero, chairman of the Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs Committee. That bill would reduce punishment for using marijuana to a civil violation instead of a felony, he said. Associated Press.

Genetically Modified or Engineered crops will be a hot topic at the Legislature this session. And lawmakers could learn from a Hawai’i State Bar Association forum that looked at the issue from a purely legal standpoint. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii’s doctor shortage is getting worse, and it’s getting especially difficult to find a physician on neighboring islands. Associated Press.

Feverish and aching patients continue to inundate Hawaii's overstressed health care system during a flu season that has no end in sight. Star-Advertiser.

One boat sank, several beaches around the state were closed, and state facilities on Hawaii island sustained minor damage from high surf that is expected to stick around statewide until 6 p.m. Saturday. Star-Advertiser.

Opinion: The Army in Hawaii: Fight to Save It, Prepare to Lose It. Business leaders are right to pull out all the stops to preserve the Army's Hawaii presence at its current level, but we also need to start thinking about what comes next if major cuts are made. Civil Beat.

Opinion: A case for army downsizing in Hawaii. Why the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii and our Congressional delegates have it wrong. Hawaii Independent.

Broadband internet access is both a luxury for modern entertainment and a necessity for business. But Hawaii is falling behind when it comes to fast connections. Hawaii Public Radio.

The University of Hawaii is studying the possibility of selling off investments in companies that produce fossil fuels. The university's Board of Regents on Thursday appointed a task group to examine the feasibility and desirability of such a move. Associated Press.

On Thursday, Yelp released its second annual list of Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S., and eight Hawaii eateries have made the cut. KHON2.


Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s desire to protect $210 million in federal bus funding means the city’s $6 billion rail project needs even more money than officials had recently announced. Civil Beat.

Honolulu police and prosecutors have gotten tough on suspected pimps — more than 45 times tougher than three years ago. Civil Beat.

Two high-profile employees at the Hawaii Theatre Center will lose their jobs Jan. 31 as part of a plan to reduce costs that have left the Chinatown venue in the red for the past five years. Star-Advertiser.

Paying around $3 a gallon for gas thrills most Honolulu drivers, but it's less of a joy when you learn the average cost should be $2.49 if our prices had dropped as much as they did on the mainland in the last year. Star-Advertiser.


The Hawaii County Council has entered a new era of accessibility to the public — starting today, council and committee meetings will be streamed live on the county’s website. West Hawaii Today.

A settlement is in the works between Hawaii County and the state Department of Health, which last year fined the county more than $350,000 for violations at two landfills. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Island’s doctor shortage grew by 17 percent in the last year. The need for physicians in 2014 was estimated at 554, but only 327 were practicing on the island, according to the latest figures from the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine’s Area Health Education Center. That puts the island’s shortage at 41 percent of its need, far ahead of the statewide shortage of 24 percent. Tribune-Herald.

More than a dozen West Hawaii beaches were closed Thursday because of warning-level surf aloha west-facing shores of the Big Island. West Hawaii Today.


The Maui Mayor's Office of Economic Development issued over $4.64 million in grant funds to local organizations over the last six months. Pacific Business News.

Homeless shelters have effectively become affordable housing on Maui, according to governmental and nonprofit agencies speaking at a panel discussion Wednesday night at the Maui Economic Opportunity Conference Room. Maui News.

After moving its monthly meeting Wednesday to the University of Hawaii Maui College, the Maui Police Commission had its biggest public turnout in more than a year. Maui News.

If Maui County residents think it's tough to get a doctor appointment now, then just wait - a statewide physician's shortage will worsen as nearly a third of Hawaii's practicing doctors have reached retirement age, according to a University of Hawaii study submitted to state lawmakers this week. Maui News.


As a place that once served as the home of Kauai’s last reigning queen, Deborah Kapule Kekaiha‘akulou, and the backdrop for the 1961 film “Blue Hawaii” starring Elvis Presley, there is no dearth of historical features at Coco Palms Resort. Preserving that history while paving the way for a new Coco Palms Resort, however, is a question that several state and county agencies are still wrestling with. Garden Island.

A circuit court judge Tuesday ruled in favor of the County of Kauai and the Planning Commission in response to the county’s lawsuit against a Hanalei resident’s unpermitted boatyard operation. Garden Island.

A mariner’s union said a lawsuit filed against a tug operator for negligence is full of errors. Garden Island.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Lava buries cemetery, Ige tops in latest poll, Maui GMO a big ballot issue, constitutional amendments galore, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii County Civil Defense
Lava buries Puna cemetery courtesy Hawaii County Civil Defense
Hawaii County Civil Defense closed Pahoa Village Road as a fast-moving finger of lava moved to within 600 yards of the main street of Pahoa town. Residents in the immediate downslope path of the lava were also urged to prepare to evacuate Sunday night and the Red Cross opened an emergency shelter at the Sure Foundation Church in Keaau. Star-Advertiser.

Evacuations have not been ordered, but Red Cross Hawai'i opened an emergency shelter Sunday night at the Sure Foundation Puna in preparation for residents who may be displaced by the Puna lava flow. Hawaii News Now.

A small, primarily Buddhist cemetery in Pahoa fell victim to advancing lava on Sunday, marking yet another sobering milestone in the ongoing June 27 flow. Tribune-Herald.

Civil Beat Poll: Ige Up by 6 Over Aiona. The Democratic nominee for Hawaii governor leads Republican Duke Aiona 40 percent to 34 percent. Hawaii Independent Party candidate Mufi Hannemann is at 11 percent. Libertarian Jeff Davis is at 6 percent while 8 percent of voters are undecided.

Approval of a proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would allow the state to spend public funds on private preschool programs is uncertain as support for the initiative continues to wane and opposition has mounted in recent months, according to new Hawaii Poll results. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s constitution allows for age discrimination against judges, say proponents of a constitutional amendment to raise the mandatory retirement age for judges and justices from 70 to 80. West Hawaii Today.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources has brought back an attempt to allow private landowners to access special purpose revenue bonds to finance the preservation of reservoirs and dams. A similar measure failed on the 2012 ballot. West Hawaii Today.

Before stepping into the voting booth or casting a mail-in ballot, voters may want to familiarize themselves with the following five proposed statewide constitutional amendments on the ballot. Star-Advertiser.

Which Hawaii Candidate Spent the Most Money Per Vote? The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission has crunched the numbers and it's an interesting look at how the 2014 election is playing out. Civil Beat.

Former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle spoke to Cornell University students and faculty on Thursday in a presentation that recounted her vision for a sustainable energy future and her role in implementing the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. Civil Beat.

A battle continues to brew between the Building Industry Association of Hawaii and historic preservation officials in the state over a law that subjects homes built more than 50 years ago to a historic preservation review whenever a homeowner applies for a building permit for a rebuild or remodel. Pacific Business News.


New Hope’s Evangelism Has a Distinctly Political Flavor. The megachurch is becoming a force to be reckoned with in Hawaii civic affairs. It recruits candidates, registers new voters and organizes political events. Civil Beat.

Lifeguard beaned by falling coconut. Haunama Bay was closed for several hours Sunday morning for emergency tree trimming. A county lifeguard claims the work should have been done weeks ago and he was injured because of the delay. KITV4.

There’s a new twist in criminal case against Matson Navigation Company for the Sept. 2013, 220,000 gallon molasses spill into Honolulu Harbor that killed 26,000 fish and caused substantial damage to the area reefs and ocean.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard Puglisi did not accept all of the terms of its plea agreement Friday, saying he isn’t certain whether the donations are legal. Puglisi will look into the matter further, he said. Hawaii Reporter.

A federal judge accepted a guilty plea by Matson Inc. to criminal charges stemming from the spill last year of more than 230,000 gallons of molasses in Honolulu Harbor, but expressed concerns that the company agreed to make a $600,000 community service payment but didn't agree to any probation. Pacific Business News.


The timeframe to resume the Queen Kaahumanu Highway widening project is back in federal hands. State Department of Transportation officials confirmed this week they submitted the Section 106 memorandum of agreement to the Federal Highways Administration Sept. 22. West Hawaii Today.


There's a rising chorus of Hawaii opposition to the biotechnology seed companies that have moved into the state's former sugar cane lands and have quietly become the state's top agricultural industry. A Nov. 4 ballot measure proposes a moratorium that would make it illegal to cultivate, grow or test genetically modified crops in Maui County until environmental and public health studies show their practices are safe. Star-Advertiser.

Dozens of Maui mothers are going door-to-door to urge voters to back a ban on the cultivation of genetically engineered crops because they think they are unsafe. A group backed by companies growing the crops counters with ads playing heavily on the airwaves that urge rejection of what they are calling the “farming ban.” Associated Press.

It’s a controversial issue Maui County voters will see on the Nov. 4 ballot. They’re being asked whether to approve an initiative that would make it against the law to grow, reproduce, or test genetically modified crops until an environmental public health study is completed. KHON2.

In the hotly contested race for the Maui County Council's Makawao-Haiku-Paia residency seat, challenger Mike Molina is attempting to turn the tables on incumbent Mike White on the charge of being a "rubber stamp." Maui News.

The decline in fall enrollment at University of Hawaii Maui College from its Great Recession peak of 4,527 students in 2011 continued this year, with student numbers dipping below 4,000 for the first time since 2008. Maui News.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday unanimously approved Hawaii’s first community based fisheries subsistence area rule package for Haena on the island of Kauai. Associated Press.

As a longtime County of Kauai department manager and the current mayor, Bernard Carvalho Jr. said he is not afraid to make tough decisions. Garden Island.

County officials are reminding the public that the deadline to submit applications for the waiting list lottery for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is Wednesday. The waiting list will be utilized to fill vacancies in the federally funded program. Garden Island.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

RIMPAC heading to Hawaii, Lingle chairs Djou campaign, Maui to lower property taxes, pot minister gets 5 years, hotel tax downsized, Kauai to make ballot initiatives harder, hospital privatization fails, Hawaii County mulls raises, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

2012 photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy
RIMPAC 2012 courtesy U.S. Navy
Twenty-three nations, about 40 ships, six submarines, hundreds of aircraft and 25,000 people are participating in this year's Rim of the Pacific war games in and around Hawaii June 26 to Aug. 1, the Navy said. Details until now have been few, but Navy officials released some of the specifics of this summer's iteration of the world's largest international maritime exercise. Star-Advertiser.

The state's four mayors and County Council leaders failed in their full-court press to get the state Legislature to lift the cap on their share of hotel room tax revenues Friday, but they walked away with $10 million more for their troubles. Star-Advertiser.

A bill that would have authorized Hawaii’s semipublic hospitals to work with private partners won’t become law this year. Senate Bill 3064, sponsored by Sen. Josh Green, D-Kona, Ka‘u, died late Friday night, when officials failed to release it. West Hawaii Today.

A bill to name the ukulele the official state musical instrument stalled and died last week in conference committee because both houses could not reach an agreement. But there is still hope for passage of another measure that could do the same thing before the session adjourns Thursday. Hawaii Public Radio.

State lawmakers advanced a proposal on Friday to increase the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by January 2018. Maui Now.

Office of Environmental Quality Control
Jessica Wooley, chairwoman of the House Agriculture committee whom Abercrombie has appointed director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control, faces opposition from key legislators in the Hawaii state Senate. So does  Brian Tamamoto, appointed to serve on the Hawaii Community Development Authority. Civil Beat.

Hawaii environmental groups have launched a campaign to pressure state Senators to confirm House Agriculture Chair Jessica Wooley as the governor’s Director of ​the Office of ​Environmental Quality Control. Hawaii Reporter.

A $500,000 pesticide subsidy aimed at combating the coffee berry borer has made it through its last round of negotiations and is scheduled today for a final vote in the state Legislature. Tribune-Herald.

A cap on the salary Hawaii pays its schools superintendent would get a boost for the first time in 13 years under a bill — initially presumed dead for this session — lawmakers advanced out of conference committee Monday afternoon. Star-Advertiser.

A bill that would have made it easier for residents of high-rise apartment buildings and renters to switch to solar was killed in conference committee on Friday. Senate Bill 2934 was a priority piece of legislation for clean-energy advocates. The measure would have allowed residents without roof space or those living in areas where Hawaiian Electric Co.’s electric grid can’t accommodate any more solar to still take advantage of solar energy. Civil Beat.

Hawaii ranks in the top 10 in the United States for solar energy with both Hawaiian Electric Co. and the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative recognized for being leaders on both the solar megawatts rankings and the solar watts-per-customer rankings, according to a new report released Monday. Pacific Business News.

A state board has issued new rules for solar panel installation that will require journeyman electricians to do more of the work, which is expected to raise the cost of installing the systems. Associated Press.

Hawaii legislators will vote on a bill today that will make it a felony to post a photograph of an individual in the nude without their permission. Tribune-Herald.
copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Lingle © 2014 All Hawaii News

Former two-term Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle is chairing Charles Djou’s campaign for Congress, the Republican candidate announced Monday. Civil Beat.

State Rep. Mark Takai has a status that no other candidate in the Democratic primary for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District can match. Takai is a combat veteran. Civil Beat.

There were 760 fewer visitors arriving in Hawaii each day in the first quarter of 2014 compared with a year earlier, and those who came spent a dollar less per day, as the tourism industry continued to lag behind last year's record numbers. Star-Advertiser.

The US Department of Education released a report on high school graduation rates across the country for 2012 on Monday. For the first time ever, the rate hit 80%. Hawaii beat the national average at 82%. Hawaii News Now.

State roundup for April 29. Associated Press.


The company contracted to oversee various construction projects at the University of Hawaii is suing the school for more than $4.6 million over complications related to two projects, including $2.8 million for costly delays to the brand-new UH Manoa Campus Center. Civil Beat.

Detractors have called it unaffordable housing, but a planned second tower of the 801 South St. condominium project in Kakaako has attracted an overwhelming number of buyers with moderate incomes. Star-Advertiser.

An undercover sting at a Keeaumoku massage parlor could wind up backfiring on Honolulu Police. Police arrested a 41-year-old woman at the VIP Lounge for prostitution back in February but only after the vice officer said he engaged in sexual activity with the woman. Hawaii News Now.

The state has agreed to settle three alleged abuse cases against Kipapa Elementary School employees for a total of $190,000. Star-Advertiser.


Six county department heads and three deputy directors will get 5 percent raises July 1, but heftier pay hikes for the County Council, mayor and top managers are less certain, following action Monday by the county Salary Commission. West Hawaii Today.

A Big Island man who openly used his ministry to promote marijuana use has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for having 300 pot plants as part of a distribution ring. Associated Press.

The wife of a Hilo man who was sentenced Monday to five years in federal prison for having 284 marijuana plants called his sentence — and hers — “disappointing." Sherryanne “Share” Christie, the wife of Roger Christie, received a 27-month prison sentence for her role in what prosecutors described as a drug distribution ring. Tribune-Herald.

Bids to complete the Mamalahoa bypass came in slightly higher than Hawaii County officials had estimated they would. But bids for the second half of the project, building a new intersection at the Napoopoo Road junction with Mamalahoa Highway, came in slightly lower than estimates. West Hawaii Today.

Pohakuloa Training Area could see upgrades, including a runway capable of handling large air transports, under a bill aimed at enhancing the U.S. military’s operations in the Pacific region. Tribune-Herald.


Budget and Finance Committee Chair Mike White today announced a proposed average 9% reduction to real property tax rates for the fiscal year 2015 budget. Maui Now.

As the costs of long-term care for seniors continue to climb, especially in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, officials with Maui agencies that deal with aging suggest senior residents take more preventative measures. Maui News.


In the future, amending the Kauai County Charter via a citizen’s petition could be more difficult. On Monday, the County of Kauai Charter Review Commission discussed, and later deferred for one month, a proposal that would quadruple the number of signatures required to petition an amendment to the charter from 5 to 20 percent of registered voters. Garden Island.

Kauai Island Utility Cooperative was honored Monday by the Solar Electric Power Association as one of the nation’s Top 10 utilities for its delivery of solar energy. Garden Island.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Sex ed among Hawaii House keiki caucus priorities, senator seeks Roundup moratorium, county council to hear general excise tax plan, Lingle to teach at California college, Honolulu mayor pushes for bus ads, Kauai hit and run victim solves own case, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Namaste rests in a bamboo thicket (c) 2014 All Hawaii News
Zoo-goers were saddened Thursday by the death of Namaste, longtime star attraction at Hilo’s Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo &Gardens. Clayton Honma, county Parks and Recreation director, said the 15-year-old white Bengal tiger was euthanized Thursday morning because of complications from hip dysplasia. Tribune-Herald.

The state's bipartisan Keiki Caucus on Thursday announced a package of bills it plans to support this session, including measures that would help fund after-school programs and amend Hawaii's sex education law. Star-Advertiser.

A new report card evaluating Hawaiʻi's education policies and their effectiveness at improving the quality of education gave the state a C; still the 7th best in the nation. Hawaii Independent.

A popular weed killer would be pulled from store shelves under a bill a Big Island senator introduced. State Sen. Josh Green proposed a five-year moratorium on the sale and use of products containing glyphosate, a chemical found in common herbicides such as Roundup. Tribune-Herald.

A Hawaii House committee is wading into a longtime gambling debate — but not to consider legalizing it. The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday planned to debate a bill to add gambling to a list of offenses that can result in civil nuisance lawsuits. Associated Press.

Democrats in the Hawaii House and Senate presented a joint package of bills for the 2014 session on Thursday, with priorities including funding for seniors programs and addressing climate change and invasive species. Party leaders in the chambers said the bills address issues that are big concerns to many people across the state. Associated Press.

2014 House Committee Assignments and Appointments. Hawaii Reporter.

A national report card gave Hawaii an F grade for disaster preparedness and access to emergency care, ranking the state among the bottom 10 in the nation. The report card, released Thursday by the American College of Emergency Physicians, ranked Hawaii second in the nation, scoring an A grade, for its commitment to public health and injury prevention, with both low rates of chronic disease and fatal injuries. It also received a B-minus grade for quality and patient safety environment but scored a D-plus for its medical liability environment due to the lack of protections for the state's health care workforce. Star-Advertiser.

The misuse of a photograph in the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts collection has revealed improper and possibly illegal actions regarding the State’s art holdings. Hawaii Public Radio.

copyright 2014 All Hawaii News
Lingle (c) 2014 All Hawaii News
Former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle is returning to her alma mater this spring to teach an upper-division course on public policy in California State University, Northridge’s Department of Political Science. Hawaii Reporter.


Mayor Kirk Caldwell's attempt to make a bus advertising plan acceptable to critics is failing to win over the nonprofit group raising the loudest objections. Caldwell unveiled an amended draft of a bill, making it clear that advertising "shall be restricted to the sides and/or back of city transit buses" and that "bus wraps" or "oversized, multi-sided advertisements" would be excluded. The new version also clearly excludes exterior advertising on transit vehicles, bus stops, benches and stations. Star-Advertiser.

The appeal of a federal lawsuit seeking to stop Honolulu’s $5.16 billion rail project could stall work again if a judge doesn’t issue an opinion on the matter by late spring or early summer, the executive director of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation warned the agency’s board Thursday. Pacific Business News.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation has awarded two major contracts worth a total of $117.2 million to oversee construction of the city’s $5.16 billion rail transit project. Pacific Business News.

The Navy confirmed Thursday that jet fuel leaked from a tank at the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility, but local and federal officials say the city's water is safe to drink. Star-Advertiser.

The U.S. Navy confirmed Thursday that one of its massive underground tanks near Pearl Harbor has a leak and may have spilled up to 20,000 gallons of aviation fuel, raising concerns about potential drinking water contamination. Civil Beat.

Five homeless men have been killed on Honolulu streets in the past six months, prompting concern from the state's homeless coordinator about the dangers facing many who live without shelter. Star-Advertiser.

High-surf warnings continue today for the North Shore, with waves up to 35 feet. In Oahu, winter waves are expected today to reach heights from 25 to 35 feet on the North Shore, 15 to 25 feet on western shores, 1 to 3 feet on eastern shores and up to 2 feet on southern shores, the weather service said. It's of the biggest swells of the season so far. Star-Advertiser.

A rezoning plan for the "Live Work Play ‘Aiea" mixed-used development project at the former Kam Drive-In in Aiea received positive testimony before the City Council Zoning and Planning Committee on Thursday but will have to wait a month to advance. Star-Advertiser.


The Hawaii County Council Finance Committee is the next venue for a proposal by state mayors to allow them flexibility to add a 1 percent surcharge to the general excise tax. South Kona/Ka‘u Councilwoman Brenda Ford has added a discussion of the proposal to the committee’s agenda for an 11 a.m. Tuesday meeting at the West Hawaii Civic Center. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo Medical Center once again showed strong improvements in an annual report rating patient satisfaction. However, the hospital might see cuts of up to $60,000 this year from its Medicare reimbursements, as its scores continue to fall below other hospitals in the state and around the country. Tribune-Herald.

Twenty years ago, West Hawaii Explorations Academy opened its doors, offering project-based learning to West Hawaii students out of a temporary facility near Keahole Point. On Thursday, crews began pouring the foundation of a permanent facility for the public charter school. West Hawaii Today.

State attorneys are appealing a court decision that overturned Hawaii Ethics Commission charges against a Big Island charter school employee. Last February the commission fined Connections Public Charter School administrative assistant Eric Boyd $10,000 for 20 violations dating back to 2006. Civil Beat.


The US Department of Agriculture declared Hawaiʻi and Maui Counties disaster areas due to ongoing “severe” and “extreme” drought conditions. Kalawao County at Kalaupapa on Molokaʻi was also named a contiguous disaster county also eligible for federal assistance. Maui News.

Mayor Alan Arakawa asked state legislators Wednesday for more state agriculture inspectors to help combat the little fire ant, a stealthy invasive species confirmed to have made its way from the Big Island to Maui and Oahu late last year. Maui News.

Perry Artates, a former Maui Hawaiian Homeland commissioner and prominent labor leader, will spend 45 days in federal prison for his role in a mortgage fraud case that left a Maui family homeless. Hawaii Reporter.

A judge dismissed a case against a man charged with threatening to kill Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa. But prosecutors are expected to refile the terroristic-threatening charge against Austin Gerard Jr. Associated Press.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is planning to build a new, nearly $5.7 million replacement administration building on an acre in Wailuku and next to The Maui News offices.

Maui police cordoned off a section of Papohaku Park in Wailuku on Thursday afternoon, but police on scene could not say what they were investigating. Two individuals with gloves were observed sifting through the contents of a dumpster and taking photographs. Maui Now.


Unleashing a new law? Public weighs in on proposed county dog barking ordinance. Garden Island.

A victim of a hit and run accident one year ago found some closure from solving the case with her own detective work. Another chapter to the victim’s remarkable saga closed Thursday in 5th Circuit Court when the suspect was sentenced to probation during an emotional hearing. Garden Island.

Federal court criminal hearings for violations and some offenses that occurred on Kauai can be now be heard quarterly at 5th Circuit Court. On Wednesday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii held hearings in Lihue with U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang and courtroom manager Shari Afuso. The hearings were held in Courtroom No. 5, which is usually vacant at 5th Circuit. Garden Island.